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DSL is a technology that allows the existing telephone line to coexist with the internet by using the unused frequencies of our human hearing levels. The telephone has limitations as to how far from the Central Office it will work. The maximum distance for DSL is approximately 18,000 feet. Therefore the farther away from the Central Office you are the slower your DSL speeds. Based on what the technician told you I would say you are over 10,000 feet away from the Central Office.
Your SNR suggests that you are much closer than the technician suggested. It looks like your line could support a fast tier of service. You want the SNR to stay above 10 or you will begin to drop the connection.
That line should work great with 7.1Mbps and FastPath. It's possible you're on gear Verizon has capped at 3Mbps for the max provisioning. Could be for any number of reasons, usually due to congestion concerns. Try pushing them to get someone in engineering to quality you for more than 3Mbps.
Pretty much. Most of the time what is said to be the max speed of line is what is in the qualification database. In my case, 3Mbps was the case for the longest time even though the equipment was certified by Verizon to handle speeds higher than 3Mbps.
Most people are able to request an engineering ticket to be put in to have the qualification database updated. In most cases if your line can do more they will update it to reflect a higher speed such as 7.1Mbps, or 10Mbps-15Mbps (if ADSL2+ is available).
Now if FiOS is available, that will be the next step. Verizon does not want to invest any more time and effort into DSL if the FiOS network is around. In most cases if cost is keeping you away, you can talk Verizon into giving you a 5Mbps/2Mbps FiOS package that is unadvertised. It runs for the same price as the DSL, and that would also give you an upgrade path to a higher speed if you so desire in the future.